Manunui

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MANUNUI

Todays’ story on Manunui comes to us from the ‘desk’ of Paul Drake – as always, well written so I’ll pass over to Paul.

 “Arriving at Taupo for our annual holiday one January in the late 1950’s, my brothers and I were intrigued to see a very unusual looking new commercial boat on the scene.   Before we knew her name, we kids called her ‘The Ugly Boat’.  She turned out to have a proper name – MANUNUI – after the saw milling town just out of Taumarunui.   It was there that she was built by the manager of said sawmill, Basil Maude.

Basil’s hobby was building boats, but he rarely got more than about three-quarters of the way through before losing interest.  MANUNUI was the exception.  He wished to see how big a boat he could build out of plywood.  He had the plywood made at his mill from selected timber.   Her bottom had two sheets of ply each twenty feet long , six feet wide, and one and a quarter inches thick. She measured 36 feet by 12 feet.

She had to be chunky and strong because Basil had two Allison Kittyhawk 12-cylinder aeroplane engines which he wanted to fit.   He designed and built the double gearbox himself.  It measured eight feet by three feet by two feet deep.   At the last minute the plan changed and the two gallons per minute Allisons were wisely ditched in favour of Ford V8s. But the gear box remained – larger than the two engines.   This most fascinating gearbox was mounted forward of the engines with the propeller shafts running back under the engines.   Chains were involved, and each propeller was operated independently of the other in the normal way.  MANUNUI was the first diesel powered launch on the lake (so it is said) and also the first commercial plywood boat to operate on the lake.

In the good old days when fishermen would club together and charter a launch for five day expeditions to Taupo’s Western Bay, MANUNUI was a very successful and busy charter launch under her very capable skipper Ron Houghton.

The original canvas arrangement over the aft end was eventually replaced with the rather functional effort shown in the second photo. In about 1970 a whole new cabin appeared.   Shortly afterwards MANUNUI was sold to New Plymouth.   I wonder if she survives?   Somehow I doubt it.

Much of this information is contained in ’Boats of Taupo’ by Charles Cox.

 

Alana – Where Is She

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ALANA – Where Is She
 
Recently I was contacted by Al Laslett regarding the launch – Alana, that his grandfather, Alan Laslett, owned in the 1950’s. Subsequent correspondence with Al’s mother, Anne Palmer (nee Laslett), has uncovered the above photos and intel on the vessel below.
 
Alana  was built in the 1950’s in the backyard at, Anne believes 54 Tarawera Tce., St Heliers or on a property nearby. Anne it not sure of the exact date she was launched, but believes it was before mid 1958. Anne believes that Alana was kauri planked and her mother once told her it was approx. 36’ > 40’ in length.
 
Anne’s father, Alan, was quarry manager for McCallum Bros. on Pakihi Island from approx. 1958 until his sudden death in May 1960 (heart attack). He had separated from his wife, and was waiting for the divorce to come through when he died.  Because he was still legally married, the launch passed to his wife Elsie and the family do not know what happened to her after that – presumably sold. The family has tried several times to find where she is now, but to no avail.  The only reference they know is a single mention in a Radio Hauraki news bulletin in the 1980’s about a cabin fire on a launch called Alana on the Waitemata Harbour.
The unusual cabin design was because Anne’s father was a very tall man and specifically built a cabin where he could not hit his head. She was rigged for deep sea fishing, but Alan never got the chance to do that. Alan died just before his 50th birthday, at the time Anne was only 19 months old and her sister was 6 weeks old. Sadly Anne has no memories of my father or the launch, only the old photos above.    
In the photo at the wharf at Pakihi Island, Alan is the tall, balding man at the back, is full name was Alan Edgar Laslett. He used to drive taxis in Auckland just before he and Anne’s mother went to Pakihi Island. 
 
So woodys – big call out today – Anne and her son Al, would love to find the Alana and if possible see her in person – I’ll give a WW t-shirt to the woody that provides the best intel.
30-03-2020 Update / Input from Anne Palmer

Anne was sent the photo below from her cousin David who lives in Australia. David commented that the boat was nearing completion in the backyard of Alan & Elsie’s property at Tarawera Terrace, St. Heliers, taken in December 1955.
David H and Alan's boat St Heliers Dec 1955
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Bay Of Islands 1950’s Gallery

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(Launches – L>R) Lady Eileen, Crusader, Makura (ID ex K Rickets)

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1957 BOI - c

Bay Of Islands 1950’s Gallery

Thanks to a prolific burst of Bay of Islands photos recently on Len Redwoods fb page we get to have a glimpse of boating in the BOI’s back in 1950’s.
Most are taken in or near the waterfront township of Russell.
Make sure you check out Mondays WW story – a wonder full gallery of photos and a special request for help to find a woody.
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Erinor – A Peek Down Below

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ERINOR –  A Peek Down Below

Back in August 2014 Erinor made a brief appearance on WW, link below, lots of chat in the comments section.
What I can tell you is she was built by McGeady in 1953 for Gordon Collie and measures 33’6” x 10’8” x 3’6”. Powered by a Ford 120hp diesel.
In a previous life she was named – Lady Allyson.
Thanks to tme we get to have a peek down below.
Note To Self – Don’t Raft Alongside Trinidad – tends to lead to ‘short pants’ syndrome 🙂
RD+Trinny+Ngaio
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2020 New Zealand Classic Yacht Regatta Photo Gallery – 100+ photos and videos

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2020 New Zealand Classic Yacht Regatta Photo Gallery – 100+ photos and videos

As I have mentioned in the last two WW stories, the Classic Yacht Association of New Zealand have over the last 3 days been running its annual classic yachting event on Auckland’s Waitemata Harbour.
The near perfect conditions on all three days made for happy skippers and a relieved race organisers. I was on the water for two of the three days and had a blast. The gallery above is a mix of Races 1/2/3. If your boat doesn’t make an appearance, I apologize, I was only a passenger, so captured those that were within range.
On the second day, James Dreyer and myself hosted the world acclaimed marine photographer Benjamin Mendlowitz onboard Jame’s motorboat – Laughing Lady, the perfect platform for recording the on the water activities.
For me it was a master class in boat positioning and photography angles, I tried to keep out of Ben’s way and took the above photos / videos when I could without being in Ben’s line of sight.
These days the CYA run the regatta using the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron as Race HQ and entertainment hub, it is the perfect venue and as always the service and staff were 10/10.
 Scroll down for the official regatta results below
As always – click on photos to enlarge.
Race Course Videos Below (Races 2/3)
RANGER

PRIZE

A DIVISION

ARIKI

RAWHITI

CORONA

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Lady Ellison

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Lady Ellison

The photos above of the 36’ c.1952/53 possibly Sam Ford built – Lady Ellison were sent in by John Burland and show her at Nelson Marina.

The lady has made two appearances (July 2015 and May 2019) on WW, links below, from the photos above its obvious that she is now a well used, semi commercial vessel. Read the links and comments sections –  lots of chat on her past.

Two photos below – b/w = as launched. Colour = 2015 (click to enlarge)

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Mystery Launch At Waiheke Island

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Mystery Launch At Waiheke Island

Mooching around Sandy Bay I spotted the above woody – it looks familiar. Not anchored, on a mooring so maybe she is an Island boat.
I’m sure someone smarter than me can ID her.
Woodys Classics Waiheke BBQ & Pizza Lunch – Trip Report
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Another great turn out for Saturdays gathering at Little Oneroa – I counted 16 woodys in the bay, rowing past a couple I may have detected a whiff of PVC but they were lookers and all had a healthy mix of timber and bronze. Attending boats tagged in the story.
Most people decided to order lunch from the wood-fired pizza caravan and were not disappointed – very yum.
The timing seemed to work for everyone – several boat travelled long distances to participate and 1/2 the fleet were just there for the day. Also dog friendly venues are appreciated – again 1/2 the boats had pooches aboard. Perfect weather and very low numbers of what the islanders call ‘day trippers’.
As proof that all you need to be welcomed at a Woody Classics event, is a passion for wooden boats – my boat of the day was Allan and Pam Hooper’s – Katherine. Her dinghy (built by Allan) gets her a 10/10 tick in my book.   You can read more about Katherine here https://waitematawoodys.com/2020/02/03/katherine/
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Katherine

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Little Oneroa – Waiheke Island

I spotted Allan’s dinghy ashore on Sunday morning  at Oneroa – now Allan is a perfectionist, so his score drops to 9.9/10 – he left the stickers on the oars 🙂
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